YMCA starts 'Families First' campaign


The Carroll County Family YMCA is sponsoring its annual "Keep Families First" support campaign.

David Stevenson, executive director of the Carroll County Family YMCA, said the organization is concerned about families in Carroll County -- especially children.

"We feel that there were so many forces these days tearing families apart that we wanted to provide something that will help families," he said. "If we can create a wholesome family environment, we believe it will strengthen the bonds of the family.

"We spend a lot of time trying to meet the needs of children," Mr. Stevenson added.

He said the YMCA tries to help youngsters through activities such as camps, outreach and sports programs.

The YMCA is asking individuals and organizations to contribute money so that underprivileged families can participate in YMCA programs. Mr. Stevenson said 25 percent of those who participate in the programs have incomes well below the poverty level.

"That's what makes the YMCA different from other organizations," he said. "We will never turn anyone away because they cannot pay."

Last year's annual support campaign raised $20,000, which is used to provide financial support for 250 families and 150 children. The money helps offset the cost for child-care services, day camp, memberships and programs such as the Chipmunks. This year, the YMCA wants to exceed $25,000 in contributions.

"All of the money raised in Carroll County stays in Carroll County," said Mr. Stevenson.

For more information or to make a contribution, call 848-3660.

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